Category Archives: Reports

Leinster Quarterly Meeting, June 2016

The theme of Leinster Quarterly Meeting, which was held in Enniscorthy on 25th June, was “Go and Do Likewise” (Luke 10: 25-37), following on from the theme of Ireland Yearly Meeting 2016: “Who is My Neighbour?”

Ian Woods of Dublin Preparative Meeting talked about how ‘doing likewise’ – being compassionate and caring for our neighbour – could be done both on an individual and corporate basis.  He asked if we needed to coordinate the efforts of the various funds and committees to address the needs of those who are marginalised both at home and abroad. He also stressed the need to ensure that any investments held were ethical. He said that, while we can act individually and donate to worthy causes, we also need to look at how we can act collectively as a Religious Society to address inequality and poverty.

Jonathan Pim talked about various projects supported by Irish Friends, including  the Alternatives to Violence Project and the development of the visitor centre at Wheatfield Prison. He also spoke about the work of Irish Quaker Faith in Action,  which supports many projects such as Christian Aid’s work in Zimbabwe and Jubilee House in West Uganda. Quaker Cottage in Ulster has done tremendously important work and continues to support individuals, families and communities.

While contributing to these funds gives us a good feeling and is, itself, important, Jonathan challenged us to reflect on whether we do enough in our own lives to ‘go and do likewise’.

Are we using our talents and gifts to their fullest extent for the benefit of others? Do we step outside our comfort zone to help others or do we just content ourselves with a monetary donation to good causes?

A full report may be read here >> Report on LQM June 2016

Ireland Yearly Meeting 2016 overview

Ireland Yearly Meeting 2016 challenged Friends to consider the question “Who is my neighbour?”

The quotation from Quaker Life and Practice which underpinned the theme further probed participants – “How can we, such a small insignificant group of people as the Society of Friends help to stem the tide of evil and hate, and greed and fear that is so wide-spread in the world today?”  (C Winifred Lamb, c.1954, QL&P 4.13).

Such a topical theme was very welcome, and it was addressed throughout the three days in the business sessions, interest groups and public lecture.

Marisa Johnson, FWCC-EMES Secretary
Marisa Johnson, FWCC-EMES Secretary

Marisa Johnson, Executive Secretary of the Europe and Middle East section of Friends World Committee for Consultation, presented the Ministry and Oversight session on the first evening with the intriguing title ‘The Gift of Conflict’.

Will Haire
Will Haire, South Belfast Meeting

Will Haire of South Belfast Meeting delivered the public lecture titled ‘Who is my neighbour? What is our testimony on inclusion?’

Andrew Lane from the Quaker Council for European Affairs addressed the question ‘Who is my Neighbour in Europe?’ and there were several speakers on the topic of homelessness in Ireland.

IYM agreed to publish a statement on homelessness, and to write letters to politicians and to newspapers both sides of the border, calling for the provision of good quality social housing.

IYM also made a resolution to become “as sustainable as possible”, with each Meeting asked to prepare a sustainability plan before the end of the year.  A commitment was also made to develop an investment strategy by January 2017 to ethically invest all funds within Yearly Meeting in sustainable and peaceful companies, and to divest from destructive industries, including fossil fuels.

For the first time during a Yearly Meeting in Ireland, there were regular updates on IYM’s Facebook and Twitter and Friends who use social media were encouraged to like, comment, share and tweet.

Read the full IYM 2016 Report by Pleasunce Perry of Frederick Street Meeting, Belfast, and Robert Foulkes of Cork Meeting.

 

 

 

 

Ulster Quarterly Meeting – Feb 2016

The theme for discussion at Ulster Quarterly Meeting, which took place in Frederick Street Meeting House, Belfast, on 20th February 2016 was ‘Are we sitting on our laurels?’

Prior to discussion on the topic, Stephen Moore, the recently appointed Principal of Friends’ School Lisburn, gave his first report to Ulster Q.M.

He said he was aware of the great responsibility he had taken on but thankful that the challenge had been entrusted to him. He reminded those present of the many past successes of the school, including the united aim of teachers and pupils to strive to achieve greater things.

A full report may be read here >> Ulster Quarterly Meeting Feb 2016 report.